A STEP-by-STEP GUIDE TO DEBT RELIEF IN 2020
HOW TO FILE BANKRUPTCY IN 2020
When considering bankruptcy as an option for debt relief, always consult with an experienced attorney. Vegas Bankruptcy Lawyers provides a free debt evaluation and consultation. Filing bankruptcy will stop a wage garnishment and wiping out medical debt, credit card debe, and other unsecured debt. Is bankruptcy right for you? Our debt relief law firm will give you professional advice and offer options. Knowing if you even need to file bankruptcy to alleviate debt is a first, and important step. Also important is understanding that Chapter 7 bankruptcy is an effective tool to erase debt, but can only be filed once every 8 years. Possibly Chapter 13 bankruptcy is best for your debt situation. Chapter 13 bankruptcy allows for debt to be repaid through an approved plan. In order to successfully get rid of debt through bankruptcy, effective legal representation will ensure that you feel comfortable with the decision to file, and give you the peace of mind knowing your case will be prepared and handled by an expert bankruptcy Vegas attorney.
Getting started filing bankruptcy in 2020 includes collecting financial documents. Not only will our attorney help you understand the current state of your finances, our bankruptcy legal team will assist you with every document that you need to file. When preparing a bankruptcy filing, clients gather proof of income (copy of tax returns). After income statements, a client completes a Means Test. This test indicates whether a client qualifies to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy in Nevada. Income is compared to the average household income in Nevada. Vegas Bankruptcy Lawyers will be with you every step of the way through the bankruptcy process. Next, a client obtains a credit report. Each creditor that is owed by the debtor is listed in the bankruptcy. Also needed is a list of assets / property, bank statements, or other financial records.
Again, with the assistance of our legal staff, clients understand every document that is needed and required to file bankruptcy:
- Credit report
Proof of income (pay stubs or tax returns (past 2 years)
Bank statements (recent)
Retirement accounts or brokerage account statements (recent)
Real estate appraisals or valuations
Other documentation that relates to assets, income, or debt
Because the bankruptcy process may seem overwhelming, call Vegas Bankruptcy Lawyers. We are the experts in filing bankruptcies in Las Vegas.
Anyone who files bankruptcy in Las Vegas is required to take a credit counseling course. This course is completed online or by phone. There is a fee charged for the course. Upon completing the credit counseling course, you will receive a certificate that you have successfully completed the course. This certificate is presented to the court when filing bankruptcy.
Basically, the course is designed to give potential bankruptcy filers information about options to repay debt. Typically, it will take at least an hour to complete. Vegas Bankruptcy Lawyers of course can give you more information about this step and answer any questions you may have regarding the credit counseling course.
Complete, Print, and Prepare Bankruptcy Forms for the Court.
Possibly this step is the most time-consuming: completing the necessary bankruptcy forms. Basically the forms gather information about what a client makes, spends, owns, and what debt is owed.
Because of the amount of paperwork in this step (roughly 23 forms) required to file bankruptcy, having the legal representation of Vegas Bankruptcy Lawyers is an asset. Why? Debt relief, Chapter 7, and Chapter 13 bankruptcy is Vegas Bankruptcy Lawyers’ business. Experience helps us to assist clients in this step in the process. How? We provide the legal service to our clients and remove the stress of filing bankruptcy.
Once the forms are completed and signed, our law firm will properly prepare them to present to the Bankruptcy Court. Also, we will make all copies needed for the Court and personal records.
We work for our clients with their best interests in mind, dedicated to each specific case. Las Vegas bankruptcies may each include all steps listed in the process, but every bankruptcy filing and debt situation is unique. We listen to our clients and work to achieve the best possible outcome for their debt relieve needs.
Filing Forms with the Bankruptcy Court
Bankruptcy documentation and forms are delivered to the Bankruptcy Court. A clerk is given the forms and filing fee at this time. Next, the clerk processes your case, and makes copies of your forms for the court’s files. After processing the forms, the clerk will issue the case a bankruptcy case number, a bankruptcy trustee, and the details fo the meeting with the trustee. This meeting is called a 341 Hearing, or Meeting of Creditors. The date, time, and location of this meeting will be shared.
After the confirmation of the 341 hearing, your bankruptcy case has been officially filed.
When a bankruptcy is filed with the court, an Automatic Stay is put into place. This means that debt collectors legally may not attempt in any way to collect on a debt. The Automatic Stay stops wage garnishment. A creditor may not contact you, call you, or foreclose on your property. This remains in effect until the end of the bankruptcy case.
Communicate With Appointed Bankruptcy Trustee
The official appointed by the Bankruptcy Court to oversee your case is the Bankruptcy Trustee. Your attorney can help you to understand the role and responsibilities of the bankruptcy trustee serving your Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 case. There is a defined set of regulations and rules by which a bankruptcy trustee must follow in a case.
The bankruptcy trustee is not appointed to punish you or judge you for filing for debt relief through bankruptcy. He or she will follow clearly defined rules and is bound by the law to follow those in the process.
Do not ignore mail your receive from the trustee. Any letters from the Bankruptcy Trustee needs attention. This correspondence will ask for specific financial documents, and responding is crucial to move the process forward to discharge debt.
Mandatory (second) Bankruptcy Course
After filing bankruptcy and receiving a case number, you are required to take (another) bankruptcy course. This course is the Debtor Education Course, and is similar to the credit counseling course. The Debtor Education Course is designed to educate debtors to make wise financial decisions. The goal of this course is to provide education so that after a debtor gets “a fresh start” and wipes their financial slate clean of debt, that they won’t make choices that will ultimately result in another debt crisis or bankruptcy in the future.
The Debtor Education Course may be taken online (it takes approximately 2 hours). There is a fee for the course. Vegas Bankruptcy Lawyers make sure that clients are given information about this second course, and feel prepared for this step.
Again, Vegas Bankruptcy Lawyers are WITH YOU THROUGH EVERY STEP OF THE BANKRUPTCY FILING PROCESS. Our legal team is dedicated to provide expert legal representation. We have the experience helping clients in Las Vegas achieve debt relief. We address all and any questions, concerns, reservations, or anxiety that clients may have as we work together through the steps of the bankruptcy process.
Attending the 341 Hearing
Every person who files bankruptcy must attend the 341 Hearing, or Meeting of the Creditors. The time, date, and location is determined when the bankruptcy petition is filed.
The appointed bankruptcy Trustee will attend the 341 Meeting. Basically, this court appointment is to ensure that a debtor is not hiding any assets that should be given to creditors. When paperwork is done correctly, and the bankruptcy process steps are worked through properly, this meeting is basically a formality.
The attorney at Vegas Bankruptcy Lawyers will attend the hearing with you. Your attorney will also make sure you are completely prepared for the hearing and comfortable with everything that will ensue at this meeting. Anything you need to know about the hearing or need to bring to the meeting — our legal staff will cover all of this with you.
Creditors are allowed to attend this meeting. Vegas Bankruptcy Lawyers attorney will be right at your side at the hearing providing the legal representation that is required for a successful discharge.
After a successful hearing, the Trustee closes the case. Following the 341 Hearing, the Court will mail a letter stating that the debt has been discharged, as indicated in the bankruptcy case.
Rebuilding your Credit
Vegas Bankruptcy Lawyers works with clients after they receive a bankruptcy discharge to immediately begin to rebuild credit.
Yes, your credit will take a hit for a bankruptcy, but having a clean financial slate and a fresh financial start without overwhelming debt, you can take your first step toward rebuilding your credit.
Most likely clients who file bankruptcy have an impaired credit score already because of missed payments, or maxed-out credit cards, and were facing wage garnishment or repossession.
Within a couple of months after your bankruptcy discharge you can begin to reestablish credit, if you have regular income. Vegas Bankruptcy Lawyers will provide you with the information that you need to start recovering your credit score right away.